Fitting a whole family into a small home can be a tough challenge, but not as much if you think ahead. Careful planning is the key to organizing and using free space efficiently. But where should you start? First, think about the needs and necessities of each family member. You (and maybe your partner) need a working area. Your kids need a space to study and play (think of pets here, too). Once you’ve made a list of all the space everyone needs to live comfortably, it’s time to think of some maneuvers to make this plan a reality. Here is a list of useful tips and tricks for your family to live bigger in a smaller home.
Go for the stars
One of the most important rules of efficient space usage is to think vertically. Use the space you have from the floor all the way up to the ceiling. If you look up in a room and see open space, keep that idea in mind and go for it. This is especially useful for rooms that are overcrowded with furniture. Organizing a home office or a living room in such a manner is easy—use plenty of shelves and hanging elements for all the books, souvenirs, and other décor accents you have. As for the kids’ rooms, you need to consider that they can’t reach very high shelves on their own. For their safety, you don’t want them climbing high shelves either. Provide them with a stool or a ladder. You could also use the higher shelves to store items they rarely use (or something that you can’t store anywhere else in the house).
Baskets & labels
Using bins or baskets with labels are the key to efficient storage. You most certainly have things lying around that you don’t need all the time, but keep close by just in case. When you do need it you can easily get that stuff out of the basket. Stacking bins or baskets is another useful way to save even more space. Labeling these containers makes it a cinch to find what you need. Organize your baskets into categories (e.g. tools, toys, cleaning products, kitchenware, etc.), and label accordingly.
Another way to make the space seem more spacious is to use interior design tricks. If a room is already crowded with furniture, incorporating different prints and patterns can make it look even more cluttered. Instead, go for a minimalistic design and avoid combining different prints. This doesn’t mean that you have to condemn your home to a plain, boring design. Layered colorful Persian rugs in the middle of any room always looks fantastic, especially if surrounded by naturally colored furniture and walls. Monochromatic ottomans can have the same effect by creating contrast without being overwhelming.
Some walls in your home are probably thicker than you actually need them to be, so why not put something in them? For example, you can install a built-in family closet in the hall. This way, you solve two problems: you make more use out of the hallway, and you make space for your children’s things, too. If you combine this idea with thinking vertically, you can actually have layered bookshelves that start from within your walls and continue on the surface. Not only do these built-in elements look unusually gorgeous and extravagant, but they are also the most practical solution.
Respect your space
Finally, keep in mind that this home is for the whole family, and thus should be cleaned and taken care of properly. An advantage of living in a smaller home is that it’s easier to clean, but this depends directly on how well you organize it. Not only do you have to organize the stuff you have, but you need to organize family cleaning duties, as well. One of the most important tasks of a family living in a small home should be to avoid cluttering. If anything gets cluttered (dirty clothes, dishes, paperwork, etc.), chances are that you will be stuck with a ton of work that could’ve easily been avoided. Chores might not be the best way to go, but teaching the kids why it’s important to clean after themselves is.
Everyone in the family should learn to respect and value their living space. This way all of you can live in harmony, no matter the size of the space provided.
Guest author: Chloe Taylor